“Fading Flesh” by Kim So-Yeon – Left/Write Lit
you left to go shopping.
You bought thinly sliced jellyfish, then washed it.
On the veranda, the green onions have bloomed
and round snails rest on their blossoms.
no matter how hard you tried,
you couldn’t wake me
so approaching quietly,
you come lie down again.
you took the train,
pressing your forehead lightly to the rattling
to better see the scenery rushing by.
On the rooftop, I set out a chair.
I closed my eyes and raised my ears high like a flag
and heard somewhere the faint call of a train.
when love was called by name, we weren’t there.
We had become wild animals each other.
We had become herbivores to each other.
I shook with the fear of it.
Between your shaking and mine,
crimson blood flowed
while we lightly touched the topic of our old conversation
like a scab.
while I’m out of the house, you
die by your own strength and are continually reborn.
Flowers, too, bloomed and continually faded.
You saw the footprints of the morning star —
endless clusters, traces
of people gone by.
The smell of food, of flowers, of laundry
thick and overflowing.
The home male and female bluebirds return to must be the same,
you said, while folding the laundry.
you called an obvious mistake like us, love. Turning where I stood, I nodded and called it blasphemy,
the vulnerability of all the bad things in life when their usefulness is gone.
Your tenderness swirls in my ear and spreads throughout my body, and
in my diary I write, “I want to be eaten away. In being worn away, there will be no pain — no nothing.”
Every time I unfold my diary on the desk, my life’s sins
we fold paper airplanes from the letters we’ve sent and make them fly.
With wings having no more room for writing, they scatter and fall like the season’s first snow.
you leave to go shopping
and might not return.
Standing expectantly outside the entrance,
I cover my mouth and cry for a few moments. You could still come back.
Flowers still bloom
and snails form trails from my tears
on the surface of the carrot’s prickly flowers,
taking one steady step and then another.
Like a refrigerator, I am still standing,
my contents growing clear, and cool…
and still waiting.